Whitehorse Daily Star

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FINISHING STRETCH – Lindsay Carson crosses the line just ahead of her Langley Mustangs teammate Lisa Brooking. Photo submitted by themomentiscaptured.com

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FIGHTING THROUGH – B.C. champion Jack Amos (left) fin ishes the six-kilometre race in 64th spot in a time of 20:46. Photo submitted by DON WHITE

Yukoners race in cross-country nationals

Two Yukon runners now living and training in B.C. braced the muddy and windy conditions at the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. Saturday.

By Dustin Cook on November 28, 2017

Two Yukon runners now living and training in B.C. braced the muddy and windy conditions at the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. Saturday.

Two-time B.C. champion Jack Amos competed in the youth boys under-18 six-kilometre race and Lindsay Carson raced in the senior women’s 10 km representing her new team the Langley Mustangs.

It was a rainy and windy day on the course looping around Fort Henry in Kingston and as the races went on throughout the day, the slicker the conditions became.

“It rained earlier in the day and in combination with the junior races it got the course all muddy for us,” Carson said. “It was extremely windy. That was a factor.”

Carson, who recently moved to B.C. to focus on her training, finished in sixth place in a time of 35:35, just ahead of her Mustangs teammate Lisa Brooking.

With the sixth place finish, Carson is eligible for a spot on the Canadian national team at the 2018 Pan American Cross Country Championships in El Salvador. Six athletes are allowed per team for the international race in February and the Canadian women’s team is hoping to repeat as champions from last year’s event.

Carson, who also finished in sixth position at the B.C. Championships in October, said this was her highest finish on the senior level.

“I knew I belonged in the top 10, but I didn’t want to just make the top 10,” Carson said. “My race strategy was to go in with an open mind, stay with the lead pack if I can.”

This was only the second year the race distance has been 10 kilometres for the women’s race, equalling the distance of the senior men’s race.

In her first year training with a club down in B.C., Carson said it has made an immense difference in her season as she practises regularly with a group and has a designated coach to work on specific goals.

“It’s been huge, when I was in the Yukon I didn’t have a routine club or practice, I did my own thing,” Carson said. “Stuff started to really come together later in my season.”

On the youth boy’s side, Amos from Dawson City who also recently moved down to B.C. to train with the Prairie Inn Harriers Club, was hoping for a top 20 finish heading into the race as the provincial champion.

Amos didn’t get the result he hoped for finishing in 64th spot on a tough day of racing for the 16-year-old.

“After two kilometres I don’t know what happened, something just clicked in my body and I just couldn’t keep up with that pace unfortunately,” said Amos noting he had a strong start to the race up towards the front of the pack. “It turned out to be a pretty bad race, going into my last lap I slipped and fell and that was the nail in the coffin for me.”

It was that kind of race for several of the B.C. athletes with brothers Zachary and Tate Wyatt, who finished just behind Amos in the B.C. race, also finishing further back.

The weather elements were only one aspect of it, Amos said, acknowledging it is part mental preparation as well.

“The mud played into it a little bit, I had to keep changing up stride. That alone was super taxing,” Amos said. “A big part of it is on the mental side, I get psyched out before nationals, it’s happened three times now.”

Being on Team Yukon with Amos in the past, Carson said that there is a disconnect between the race performance and his ability, but it will come in time.

“Some learning curves need to be tackled,” said Carson of the move to higher competition for Amos. “To put everything together took me a while to do that as well. He needs to try and figure that out.”

Amos will now turn his focus to the track and field season in B.C. working towards the national championships in Ottawa in July.

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